There are many passages in scripture commonly quoted off point and out
of context to demonstrate that the Law of God is abolished.
This simply is not true. 1 Timothy Chapter 4 is one
such passage, but a proper understanding will demonstrate
that 1 Timothy 4 supports the following of God's law.
It is important to remember that the Apostle Paul has an
understanding of biblical law far greater than we do.
As a result, Peter warns us that some of his writings are
difficult to understand (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Those who
have a hard time understanding Paul's writing are, "unlearned
and unstable" (2 Pet. 3:16). This assumes Paul is,
"learned and stable." But what was Paul learned and
stable in? Here is a quick resume of the Apostle Paul;
he was "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as
touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting
the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law,
blameless" (Phil. 3:5-6), and educated at the, "feet of
Gamaliel" (Acts 22:3). The Apostle Paul was well
educated in the Mosaic law. He would be what we would
call today a prosecuting attorney for he was sent out by the
High Priest to prosecute the church (Acts 9:1-2).
However, we have a hard time understanding his writings
because we are "unlearned and unstable" in the Mosaic law.
Those who say Paul advocated the abolishment of the Mosaic
law are, "unlearned and unstable" in that law. We need
to keep this in mind as we study Paul's writings and assume
Paul was not advocating the abolishment of a law he himself
followed. If you have not read 1 Timothy chapter four
please do so before you continue.
Paul starts chapter four by stating, "Now the Spirit
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1). We learn from the
start where these troublesome doctrines come from, they come
from, "seducing spirits and ... devils." These that,
"depart from the faith" ... "speak ... lies in hypocrisy"
because their "conscience [is] seared with a hot iron" (1
Tim. 4:2). The doctrines being taught by these
teachers of the, "latter times" are not from God, but from
Satan himself. What are they teaching? They are
"Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats"
(1 Tim. 4:3). This is the false doctrine that Paul is
warning about. They will forbid people to marry, like
many religions forbid priests to marry, and they command to
abstain from meats (vegetarianism). Both of these are
prevalent in society today. Perhaps we should take
Paul's warning as is and keep ourselves from these
This leads us to verse four, which is the passage quoted
often to say that God has abolished his dietary laws.
But first we need to look at the last part of verse three to
understand what is being said in verse four. Here is
verse three in it's entirety; "Forbidding to marry, and
commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to
be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know
the truth" (1 Tim. 4:3). These false teachers in the
"latter times" are teaching people to "abstain from meats."
The question is, which "meats" are they teaching people to
abstain from? The "meats" in question are those
God hath created to be received." The answer to this
whole controversy is right here, for, the "meats ... which
God hath created to be received" are found in Leviticus 11
and Deuteronomy 14. Paul is warning that in the
"latter times" men will teach vegetarianism, which is not
eating any meat, including the meat "God ... created to be
With this in mind, lets read verse four, "For every creature
of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received
with thanksgiving" (1 Tim. 4:4). Many use this verse
to say that God now allows "every creature" to be eaten, but
in context, Paul is clearly speaking only of those meats
that "God hath created to be received." God clearly
did not create "swine" to be received and He expressly said
so in Lev. 11:7 and Deut. 14:8. In fact, the next
verse helps clarify. How do we know which "meats ...
God hath created to be received?" It is, "sanctified by
the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:5).
Sanctified means to set apart. God
sanctified (set apart) which meat we can eat in Leviticus 11 and
Deuteronomy 14. Through careful prayer and study we
can know exactly which meats are healthy to eat and which
meats we are to avoid. However, some people "wrest"
these scriptures to "their own destruction" to command
something that God clearly did not command (2 Pet. 3:16).
The topic Paul is discussing throughout these verses is
clearly vegetarianism. People in the "latter times"
will forbid people to eat any meat, including meat God said
we could eat. This is a doctrine that comes from Satan
for it restricts us of our liberty in the Messiah and adds
to God's law. We need to remember, God is always
right. When we see a verse that seems to contradict
another verse, we should always error on the side of caution
and assume we are in error and not God. With enough
study and prayer, in time we might correctly understand how
the two verses fit together. We need to remember that
God's law is forever (Deut. 12:28), including His dietary
laws. All His laws are for our benefit and the dietary
laws are for our health benefit. It is interesting to
note, that these false teachers of the "latter times" use
this very passage to teach exactly what Paul himself was
warning about. 1 Timothy 4:1-5 clearly teaches the
following of God's dietary laws, not the abolishment of
them. However, today many preachers use this passage
to teach that God has abolished His dietary laws, and that
false teaching is a "doctrine of devils" from
spirits." For more on God's dietary laws please
read my article "Clean and